Las Vegas, Nevada - Former unified UFC & PRIDE light heavyweight champion ‘Rampage’ Jackson is pumped to finally be fighting again in Japan – where he made his legend – after an absence of exactly six years.
Jackson last fought in the Land of the Rising Sun in February 2006, defeating elite judo competitor Yoon Dong-Sik at the PRIDE® 31 event. Since then, Jackson has predominantly fought in Las Vegas, where the Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization is headquartered; and he is reveling in finally getting another chance to return to the scene of some of his career-defining victories.
“I had a lot of success here, but the real reason I was so anxious to be on this UFC 144 card is that have a special bond with the Japanese fans,” Jackson said from his hotel room in Tokyo. “I’ve really missed fighting here, just the whole energy of the place and how they go crazy but they are also so respectful at the same time. I was so determined to make sure I was on this card. I must have asked Dana (White, UFC President) about it a thousand times. I guess he got tired of me asking and put me as the co-main event with Ryan Bader. Honestly, I’d have been cool as a prelim guy for this fight, just put me on the card!
“I’m so happy, so excited to be here. I’ve seen some old friends, fans of mine who became friends, who are coming to the fight and I can’t wait for UFC 144 this weekend.
“I’m going to go on the Rampage in Japan. I’m going to go back to my old style that and just whup his ass. He’s a good fighter, he can punch and wrestle like me, but I want to fight like I did in Japan, just fight and give the fans a fight they will remember for years like they do my PRIDE days. That’s all I care about. I’m looking to do some slams, my powerbomb and knocking Ryan Bader out!”
To commemorate Rampage’s return to Japan, the UFC presents a limited edition UFC 144 poster in the style of Japanese ‘Manga’ movies. A strictly limited number will be printed, but five of them are up for grabs at the UFC.com’s official Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/UFC.